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Study: Toyota, suppliers support 30,000 jobs in Kentucky

By Grace Schneider The Courier-Journal

LOUISVILLE -- Toyota and suppliers to its operations at Georgetown support near­ly 30,000 jobs in the state and poured $1.8 billion in payroll into the economy in 2015.

The automaker's operations in Indi­ana also generated an impact of 27,500 jobs, fueled by a $4.6 billion investment, according to a study by the Center for Automotive Research, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based think tank, which Toyo­ta commissioned to analyze its impact on the economies of 19 states and the U.S. The company commissioned a similar study several years ago and wanted to get an update after new rounds of invest­ment, Toyota spokesman Rick Hester­berg said.

"We wanted to take the pulse of what's going on now" in terms of investment and economic impact, he said.

Toyota has 8,000 employees in Georgetown and assembled 501,746 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Lexus ES350 vehicles in 2016. The company also builds 4- and 6­cylinder engines there. Employees come from 80 Kentucky counties. The study showed that in 2015, with its suppliers and spinoff jobs, the total comes to 29,700 jobs in the state.

Nationwide, Toyota's employment im­pact was 470,100 jobs, with $32.3 billion in private non-farm payroll income.

The company opened its largest facil­ity outside Japan in Georgetown about 30 years ago after then Gov. Martha Layne Collins pushed for $325 million in incentives to match the compa­ny's initial $850 million outlay. The latest investment added $360 million and 750 jobs for production of the Lexus. The company this year also will open an engi­neering center with a test lab with work space for 700 people. Some of the staff already are on site and about 300 will be shifted from offices eventually shutting down in Erlanger.

Terry Gill, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, de­scribed the study as "an impressive scorecard" on Toyota's impact on the state. "Continued investment and expan­sion such as the addition of Lexus and the new production engineering building in Georgetown, make a powerful impact on our people and our communities."

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